Jessica Richards, founder of Shen Beauty, is known for her curatorial lens, impeccable taste, and exacting standards. The Brooklyn-based brand is ground zero for what's happening in beauty. The brands that find a place on the shelves of this beauty retailer are worthy of consideration. We asked Jessica to share what it takes for a brand to make the Shen Beauty cut and become part of her merchandising assortment.
Packaging: When scouring the world, internet, and little shops, the first thing I look at is the packaging: is it eye-catching, does the packaging read simple enough for the client to understand, and would I personally want to pick it up out of intrigue?
Ingredients: Then I look at the ingredients: does it do what it says? This is also where the trial comes in.
Assortment: Next, I look at our selection to make sure it’s not cannibalizing what we already offer. Is it a different price point? Does it offer something new?
Founder: After that, it really is determined by what the founder is like. Can we work together or is it going to be too difficult to work together? This is VERY important because, at the end of the day, we have to be able to have a good working relationship in order to make it a success at Shen.
Dive into four of the latest brands to launch at Shen and see why they made Jessica's cut.
Decree: A succinct, doctor-led skincare range created by Dr. AJ Sturnham. Calibrated to marry tolerance with maximum results, Decree's concise product lineup comprises therapeutic doses of skincare actives in synergistic formulas, separated into Daily and Weekly protocols. Products are priced from $15-$192.
Jessica's Take: "A clean, dermatologist-backed brand that focuses on a morning and evening routine! How could I not be intrigued? Dr. Anita has created a groundbreaking range of products specifically for aging skin. Her SPF is an aerosol, perfect for on the go, and is loaded with anti-aging ingredients."
Maarks Lip: A botanical lipstick collection of five essential shades ($28) that are consciously created using naturally derived ingredients that are 100% cruelty-free from Australia.
Jessica's Take: "Having launched brands like Ilia and then Kosas, I had been looking for another clean beauty range that was not distributed in the US and was a small brand. The lipsticks are loaded with pigment and the packaging is even better."
Mahoni: Founded in 2019 to create the perfect Mānuka honey products that were always missing: easy to apply, precisely concentrated, backed by relevant research. Mānuka contains the highest concentration of methylglyoxal (MGO), which is responsible for its health-promoting benefits. The brand consists of three products: Daily Boost ($54), Skin Remedy ($59) to treat blemishes on skin and lips, and Inner Remedy ($72) to calm the stomach, bowel, and throat.
Jessica's Take: "I had been looking for a fully sustainable, organic REAL Mānuka honey product for about 5 years. Since it is actually only grown in New Zealand and Australia, many are fake. The reason they need to be from there is because the bees pollinate the tea tree plant, which is why REAL Mānuka is antibacterial/antimicrobial. Not to mention it is the best face wash for me and my dry, sensitive skin."
Joaquina Botanica: Founded by a New Yorker with Colombian roots and a mission to celebrate Latin America. The formulas are powered by clinically proven actives and luscious botanicals indigenous to Latin America, the world’s most biodiverse region. Shen is carrying the Orquidea +Vitamin C Hydrating Glow Oil ($88), a combination of Orchid, Cacay, Bakuchiol, Vitamin C, Camu Camu, Maracujá, Papaya, and Sacha Inchi.
Jessica's Take: "Focusing on ingredients from Colombia that are effective and clean plus have a natural form of vitamin C in it. This oil is a singular product that is great for all skin types."
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